“A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels” (Proverbs 15:1).
I am not talking about those wonderfully delicious, little frosted cakes available in the stores. Mmmm….just thinking about them makes me want one. No, I am referring to those funny, little quips we let slip from our mouth which are humorous to us and perhaps to others but end up being hurtful to someone else. They are those sarcastic remarks we jokingly make at someone else’s expense, and usually are not measured before they are delivered, and the damage is done. Having no idea what issues another person could be wrestling with or sensitive about, these zingers can do more damage in a split second than is often realized.
Our mouths can gets us into more trouble than anything else. Being a person who loves words, I try to choose my words wisely whether in writing or in speaking, but too often I fail. A time comes to mind not that long ago when my husband and I were goofing around with each other, and one of us hit the other verbally below the belt. We knew instantly by the look on the other’s face that the playfulness had gone too far, and a line had been crossed. Instinctively the injured party retaliated in an effort to project the hurt away from self and onto the other one. Before we knew it, we were both in need of first aid to the heart. The good news is that we did not waste any time in making amends, and we were soon laughing and joking again.
Unfortunately, we all have been the recipient of and the bearer of these small but powerfully painful packages. So how do we keep from putting ourselves in the driver’s seat when it comes to making sure we are not delivering these packages?
- Think before we speak.
- Measure our words carefully.
- Place ourselves in the shoes of the other person, metaphorically of course.
- If we have to, stuff a sock in it!
- Opt for store bought zingers instead 🙂
Sounds like simple common sense to me; but sometimes common sense is the most difficult thing to grasp.
Here is to a life without zingers!